Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen Information
The pediatric dental specialist has recommended that your child be given nitrous oxide/oxygen (laughing gas) to breathe during dental treatment to help relax and calm your child during his or her dental treatment.
Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a blend of two gases – oxygen and nitrous oxide. When inhaled, it is absorbed by the body and has a calming effect. Normal breathing eliminates nitrous oxide/oxygen from the body.
When breathing nitrous oxide/oxygen, your child will smell a sweet pleasant aroma and experience a sense of well-being. If your child is worried by sights, sounds, or sensations of dental treatment, he or she may respond more positively with the use of nitrous oxide/oxygen.
Nitrous oxide/oxygen has the highest safety margin of all sedatives in dentistry. It is mild, easily taken, and quickly eliminated from the body. Your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes.
Your child should eat little or no food before the dental visit. Occasionally, nausea or vomiting occurs when a child has a full stomach. The doctor should be informed about any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child. It may limit the effectiveness of the nitrous oxide/oxygen. Tell the doctor if your child is taking any medication on the day of the appointment.
Nitrous oxide/oxygen is not effective for some children, especially those who have severe anxiety, nasal congestion, extensive treatment needs or discomfort wearing a mask.
Some children may require multiple visits depending on the extent of treatment and their behavior.